In the last 20 years, agencies and departments in the State of California have initiated seismic vulnerability programs for state-owned buildings with goals ranging from life safety to reduced post-earthquake disruption. Until now, there has not been an assessment of all state-owned buildings with the goal of identifying and assessing the seismic vulnerability of those buildings needed for response and recovery efforts after an earthquake.

The California Vital Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment Project (Cal VIVA), sponsored by the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and funded through FEMA, has developed a statewide approach to assessing the vulnerability of the state-owned building stock. Cal VIVA, undertaken by engineering faculty at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, is assisting Cal EMA in preparing for natural disasters by identifying state-owned buildings that house critical functions and are vulnerable to earthquakes.

The initial phase of the project included the development of a methodology for identifying critical and vulnerable state-owned buildings. The methodology was tested with four departments; Caltrans, Department of Water Resources, California Highway Patrol and Cal FIRE. Later phases of Cal VIVA will expand to additional agencies, develop guidelines for individual departments programs and create a state-wide reporting mechanism. A critical outcome of Cal VIVA is to provide for a systematic basis to apply for federal hazard mitigation funding to reduce seismic vulnerabilities of state- owned buildings critical to response and recovery efforts after an earthquake.

This paper will describe the process of building selection, the pitfalls and successes, the preliminary conclusions and next steps.


Architectural Engineering



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